The Haunting of the Crown Point Sheriff's House

The Crown Point Sheriff's House – Lake County, Crown Point, Indiana

Photograph ©Crown Point.Net

I think the picture says a lot; from the building’s Second Empire architecture to the old eerie tree on the right, it just has that creepy and sinister look to it.

The building was built in 1882 and served elected sheriffs until 1958. The two-story jail was added onto the back of the house in 1926 and named the Lake County Jail.

One famous inmate to be housed in the jail was John Dillinger. On March 3rd, 1934, Dillinger made his legendary escape from the “escape proof” jail in Crown Point, using a wooden gun that he had covered in black shoe polish.

The story of John Dillinger’s escapades is an interesting one but Dillinger's adventures were slightly interrupted on November 27, 1934 when authorities caught up with him. Gun fire broke out between the Dillinger Gang and police but somehow all members of the gang got away. This same shoot out was where “Baby Face” Nelson received the gun shot wounds that inevitably lead to his demise. Nelson, shot seventeen times, still managed to escape but died soon afterward. The Dillinger Gang displayed their loyalty to Nelson by dumping his body near a Cemetery in Skokie.

It wasn't until July 22, 1934 that John Dillinger was again found by authorities. FBI agents used Dillinger’s girlfriend as a source. The FBI fired at Dillinger from behind, under the impression that Dillinger was to be shot on sight, and landed three shots in him. Dillinger died in front of the Biograph Theater where he had just attended a film with his girlfriend.

The “escape proof,” Lake County Jail has been famous ever since and today the Crown Point Chamber of Commerce offers tours of the old Sheriff’s house.

One or two lingering spirits still remain in the building. In the jail portion of the building, cell doors are said to open and close without any help from the living. The bars in these cells have also been heard rattling when no one was back there. And, as with many hauntings, the well known phantom footsteps have been heard, electrical appliances and lights turn on and off on their own and many have reported hearing voices in empty cells.

226 South Main Street
Crown Point, Indiana 46307